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Collisional Grooming Models of Planets Interacting with Debris Disks

Kuchner, M (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
Wednesday 11 November 2009, 16:50-17:10



An extrasolar planet sculpts the debris disk around Fomalhaut as Neptune sculpts the Kuiper Belt. Probably many other debris disks contain planets that we could locate if we could better recognize their signatures in the dust that surrounds them. But the interaction between planets and debris involves both orbital resonances and collisions among grains and rocks in the disks---difficult processes to model simultaneously. I will describe new 3-D models of debris disk dynamics that incorporate both collisions and resonant trapping of dust self-consistently for the first time, allowing us to decode debris disk images and better model the distribution of small bodies in our own solar system.

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